PRINCETON, N.J., March 23 (UPI) -- Almost half of Americans surveyed after Congress passed healthcare reform legislation said they approved of the bill, a USA Today/Gallup poll indicated.
The poll released Tuesday found 49 percent called the legislation "a good thing" while 40 percent said it was "a bad thing," Gallup said. Independents were evenly split while Republicans overwhelmingly said they oppose the legislation and Democrats overwhelmingly favored it.
"Passage of healthcare reform was a clear political victory for President Obama and his allies in Congress," Gallup said on its Web site. "While it also pleases most of his Democratic base nationwide, it is met with greater ambivalence among independents and with considerable antipathy among Republicans."
The polling organization, based in Princeton, N.J., said the issue's impact on the November elections will depend on whether views of Democrats, Republicans and independents "harden or soften in the coming months."
"Given that initial public reaction to Sunday's vote is more positive than recent public opinion about passing a healthcare reform bill, it appears some softening has already occurred," Gallup concluded.
The telephone survey of 1,005 adults was conducted March 22, the day after Congress enacted the legislation. The margin error is 4 percentage points.